Hello everyone! =) I AM SO HAPPY!!!! haha. I don't know why. I just can't stop laughing inside. I love being on a mission. I love my mission president. I love the gospel. Oh and by the way, Sister Gates is in the conference ensign on page 116 in the relief society meeting. I'm guessing the lady next to her is her mother.
Here is an excerpt from my letter to President Beesley.
"I love the Book of Mormon. I’ve been studying 1 Nephi, I started 2 Nephi, and also the last conference. I started thinking a lot about temples and the covenants to be fulfilled in the latter days. I was in 1 Nephi 21 and verse 11 caught my eye, “And I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be exalted.” Verse 9 was another good one, “That thou mayest say to the prisoners: Go forth; to them that sit in darkness: show yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places.” I also liked the references to Isaiah 62:10 and Ezekiel 34:14. It seems whenever the Lord gathers his people he gathers them to the temples and uses words like garners, pastures, mountains, high places. It makes sense that he would though because the temples are where we make covenants to prepare us to be literally gathered into His presence after we die, and they are symbolic of entering into His presence. I love the temple and, honestly, my favorite part of conference was when the prophet announced the new temples. I felt the spirit the strongest then. I loved Mosiah 4:11-12. It talks about how we can become a Zion people. I love the gospel, and I’m so thankful to be a part of this latter day work. I found out it is a fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant in 1 Nephi 14 that through his seed all the nations of the earth would be blessed. And that the members of the church would be few in numbers, spread out upon the whole earth, and armed with the power of God in great glory. Its amazing to me that I’m alive now and am a part of all this. What a privilege. What an opportunity."
This is Tell Me the Stories of Jesus - 00:00:49
That was kind of rough, but it was pretty good. That was me on the Uke. Here is Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam - 00:00:43. This is surprisingly the easiest song on the planet earth to play, if you are doing chords. It only has an F and a C7.
Easy enough (haha). I am still working on some others – like “I'm Trying to be Like Jesus.” There are a lot of chords to that one, but that one is coming along. I'm still working on God Be with You Till We Meet Again in Samoan. I have to figure out where I want to do the chords as I'm singing. Right now I really only have one way to strum. I can change the speeds of it and stuff, but I have to learn some different strumming patterns. There are a lot of missionaries that play the Uke. It's pretty easy, nothing too complex, but it's very fun (haha).
Lately, the last couple of days we have been stuck at our apartment, because the roads have been super icy because of rain. It has been warm and then it will freeze and make the roads really icy. So, we haven't been out a whole lot. While we have been stuck here, besides studying a lot, we have been watching those wonderful DVDs – thank you so much for giving me the conference ones. I have been using those a lot for my studying. Besides that, I have practiced the ukulele (haha), and we played Risk, Monopoly, and Clue (which I won every single game against Elder Curtin – and then we stopped playing after about four games).
So this week has been kind of slow, but there was a lady who had open heart surgery about a week ago. We were blessed with the opportunity to go and give her a blessing. She went in on Friday to get a pace maker. We got to give her a blessing and she was a non-member, but she had a lot of faith. We talked about our Heavenly Father's plan for us, and I didn't even know at the time that she was not a member. She told us later that she was not a member. It was a good experience, the Spirit was really there.
We got a couple of referrals, so we are excited about that, and we will meet some new people. It looks like the Young Women's president will contacting us about some family history stuff, because I mentioned in Ward Council that I had some skills in family history. So she is planning on contacting us to help them out with that. I will be thinking about what I want to share with them. Apparently they have this Samoan family history database in the family history center here. It is basically like all family history that is recorded. It's in a book and it has the names by one of the world's leading experts on Polynesian family history in general. They compile it into books and have the family trees going back as far as they can remember, because when you go so far, they only kept oral genealogy – they just kept it by memory. I have been working on that and finding out how everything is organized and compiled, so I can help people out.
We got to see the First Presidency's Christmas devotional, which was really good – I really felt the Spirit. The video they showed was really neat. Initially it kind of threw me off with the British accents (haha) and I kind of chuckled because just a little earlier we were kind of making fun of British accents. We were talking with British accents because we were bored in our apartment because we had to stay in it (haha). So, initially it kind of threw me off, but after a while I started to like it. They were quieter like President Eyring said. It seemed to me like it was made to invite you think about it a little harder and concentrate on your feelings a little more and listen to the Spirit. After a little while I was really feeling the Spirit and was moved quite a bit by the video. It was very good. I loved it. It got me totally pumped for the Christmas season. I eventually want to read that book President Monson says he reads every Christmas called The Manson by Henry Van Dyke.
We spent some time in the family history center, because I've been trying to learn how to use those Samoan records. Things are awesome here, I love it! It is very fun. On P-days we get to go to the mission home and hang out with them. I love being around President and Sister Beesley. It's soo much fun, and they have a treadmill, so I get to run (haha). We get to play basketball too, but I actually get to exercise quite a bit. So that's good. I'm saying in shape well enough (haha). Thank you everybody for all the presents and stuff. It was wonderful. I loved the Sacred Cello CD by Steven Sharp Nelson, he's awesome – and the beef jerky (haha). Thank you for satisfying my craving (haha).
Lately, I love the scriptures. I mean … man! It's hard to read anything else but the Book of Mormon. I will start reading it and will get so zoned in on it. It's hard to read anything else. There is such good things in there, like … Dad you'll like this. In 1 Nephi 21 verse 11 it says, “and I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be exalted.” So I looked at that and said, “wait a second! Mountains are also temples.” I then read back at verse nine and it says, “that thou mayest say to the prisoners: Go forth; to them that sit in darkness: Show yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places.” So I was thinking about that and I love the phrase in verse eleven, “and I will make all my mountains a way.” I was just thinking about the temples and the Lord. Whenever He gathers His children, He always gathers them to the temple. Any why? He makes His temple “a way” He says “the mountains a way.” That is the way, because we make certain covenants there so we can return to our Father in Heaven, but also if you think about it, the temple is being in God's presence. So when we go to the temple, it is symbolic of us going into to God's presence. It is kind of preparing us for when we are literally gathered into His presence after this life – in the resurrection. I just really like that, and love how it talks about gathering. Abraham 2 is awesome and talks about how in the latter days, the Abrahamic covenant will be fulfilled where it says, in Abraham's seed all the nations of the earth will be blessed. We see that in missionary work and in general. The numbers in the Church are few, but God is on our side and we are spreading through the whole earth and blessing the nations with the gospel. It's pretty cool to witness. I love being around super good examples, like President and Sister Beesley, and in the scriptures – I kind of engross myself in those.
The gospel's true. I know it's true. I know the Book of Mormon's true. When you know the gospel is true, and that Jesus Christ is our Savior, other things don't seem to matter so much. You don't worry about what is going to happen … I mean obviously you prepare for things and challenges that will come up, but at the same time you don't have to worry about it. I mean “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” like it says in 2 Timothy 1:7. I just love the confidence that that brings and that comes to us through letting virtue garish our thoughts (see D&C 121:45). As we ponder up the words of life, we think of good things and put good into our minds, and our spirits, and our bodies even – I mean staying healthy, we are able to listen to the Spirit more and focus on those good things more that come from Christ and have His Spirit with us. Our lives are blessed so much more because of that, and I know that's true, and I say that in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Everybody, have a wonderful Christmas. Eric, I hope you had a wonderful birthday party. I hope, Chris, that you are taller than me by the time I get back, and I hope that I'm not too short (haha). I don't think I'm going to grow much more – except for maybe sideways (haha). No, I will probably come back just about the same. I don't think I'll look too much different, but we'll see (haha). Lorielle, I'm excited for you to go on your mission. That will be really neat. That was crazy to hear about Tyler Evens going to the same mission. That will be pretty cool. Man, I mean it's so awesome being out here, and not having to think about anything else but the gospel (haha) and sharing it with others, and learning how to become a better person and being more patient and loving. Yeah, I've memorized D&C 121 from 34 to the end. I love that section. That is kind of my motto almost. I think about that and becoming more Chirst-like. Well, you know I'll work on it because we're not perfect, but I love having that in mind as a person to be. I hope everybody has a good time, and I will talk to you next week. Tofa.